CHESTER ROMANS paid the price for a slow start to their game against the Wolverines after they lost a thriller in Lancashire.

The defeat means that the Romans will finish the league season in fifth place, no matter what happens in their final game against bottom-of-the-table Doncaster Mustangs.

Despite finding themselves 21 points down at one stage, Chester battled back to eventually lose a classic encounter by just five points with Lancashire winning 41-36.

The Wolverines raced into an early 6-0 lead in front of their own supporters when Josh Mills found James Schofield for the touchdown.

Lancashire’s Tom Maguire added another touchdown to double their lead before the Wolverines scored another down with a point after touchdown (PAT) to make it 21-0 midway through the second quarter.

Toby McManus helped Rory Mansfield to a touchdown just seconds before half-time to give Chester hope in the game, with the team also converting two PAT.

The two combined again immediately after the restart with Mansfield’s fifth touchdown of the season making it 21-14.

Unfortunately for the Romans, though, Josh Mills and James Schofield were also able to combine for a second team to put Lancashire 28-14 ahead.

The pendulum in the game continued to swing as a Nathan Jewkes touchdown once again reduced the deficit. But Lancashire scored a down of their own straight after to give themselves a 35-22 lead.

Tom Peto bagged his first assist of the season as he found Ash Wainwright who scored his first touchdown of the campaign.

But with just seven points separating the teams as the final whistle approached, the Wolverines scored again to make it 41-28.

Although Toby McManus and Rory Mansfield combined for a sensational third time in the game to set up a tense finale with the score at 41-36, Lancashire were able to hold on to claim the victory.

Chester Romans now have a weekend away from competitive action before concluding the season when they host a winless Doncaster Mustangs team at the Cheshire County Sports Club on Sunday, July 21.

On the same day, top-of-the-table Sandwell Steelers welcome a Shropshire side who are still battling for a play-off place.

The season officially ends for all teams on July 28 when Nottingham Caesars play Shropshire Revolution and Lancashire travel to Sandwell for their final league games of the 2019 NFC 1 South season.